An Outdoor View: Dream fishing

A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream about fishing. Upon awakening, I was smiling and feeling good, unlike my usual early-morning feeling. I stayed in bed for a while, trying to recall what happened in that dream. I could remember fishing with friends, catching a big fish and having fun, but details were fuzzy.

That dream generated good feelings for several hours that day, and no wonder. After all, I had enjoyed all the feelings of having been on a great fishing trip, with none of the fear, pain, work, anxiety, expense, boredom, bad jokes or fattening snacks of a real fishing trip. I wanted more.

A couple of days ago, I heard on the radio that 23 years of the average man’s lifetime is spent sleeping. That got me to thinking about dreams again.

Dream scientists have found that our most memorable dreams occur during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, when brain activity is almost as high as when we’re awake. As I understand it, about 2 hours of a typical 8-hour sleep period is REM-stage sleep, about 6 years of our lives. It seems only fair that we ought to be able to spend at least part of those years dreaming good dreams about fishing.

The trouble with dreams is that they’re so unpredictable. In studies, the average person has 3 to 5 dreams per night, while some have up to 7. Some people dream for only a few seconds at a time, while others dream for 15 or 20 minutes. Some dreams are good, and some are bad. From my experience, the only way I can predict that I’ll dream at all is to eat Mexican food an hour or two before going to bed, and then the dreams are nightmares.

It’s high time that someone came up with something to make dreaming more predictable. The world would be a better place if everyone could have fun every night and wake up happy and refreshed every morning.

Lots of researchers are already well into this field, and cyberspace is fairly awash with Web sites that offer “help” of one kind or another to those with an interest in dreams. If you Google “dreams,” you’ll get more than 500 million results. Trouble is, much of what’s out there is about dream interpretation, just garbage.

One exception that shows promise is “dream diaries.” Studies have found that if you wake up while the dream is happening, and if you record in a diary what you remember at that moment, you can increase your level of recollection of the dream. The very process of writing apparently helps you to recall details that you wouldn’t otherwise remember.

This dream-recording deal gives me hope. I can see it now. In my dream diary, my “big fish” could turn out to be a 98-pound king salmon.

Les Palmer can be reached at

More in Life

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
A copy of “People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska” stands in sunlight in Soldotna on Friday.
Off the Shelf: Community history project a colorful portrait of hometown

The book features the work of students at Moose Pass School and integrates further stories pulled from a community newspaper

The Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra performs. (Photo courtesy Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra)
Anchorage orchestra group to visit Kenai Peninsula for 10th annual tour

Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra will play four shows from May 30 to June 2

Minister’s Message: Boasting only in Christ and the Cross

The Reverend Billy Graham advised every president since Truman during his lifetime

Corn cheese is served alongside grilled beef, kimchi and lettuce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Planning barbecue with all the bells and whistles

Expect kimchi, lots of side dishes, piles of rice, marinated meat for the flame and cold fruit for dessert

Noa (voiced by Owen Teague) in 20th Century Studios’ “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.” (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)
On the Screen: New ‘Planet of the Apes’ expands, brings new ideas to franchise universe

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” tells a story that feels more rooted in fantasy than the post-apocalypse vibe of its predecessors

A mural depicting imagery and iconography of Kenai brightens the entryway of the Walmart in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Visible art raises people’s spirits’

Local artist’s mural introduced as part of Walmart renovations

Former North Kenai resident George Coe Dudley, seen here during the winter of 1950-51, was a hard-drinking man. His messy funeral in 1967 in Kenai echoed his lifestyle. (Photo courtesy of Al Hershberger)
This parting was not sweet sorrow — Part 1

“Dudley was an easy-going, laid-back sort of guy, always laughing and joking, as well as hard drinking.”

The Ladies of the Pacific lead a hula demonstration as part of Aloha Vibes at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Saturday. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Diamond Dance’s ‘Aloha Vibes’ brings together music, movement and celebration

The project’s all-company showcase was only one of several attractions filling the space as part of the group’s annual event

English muffins are surprisingly easy to make and so much better fresh. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Special breakfast for a special day

Eggs Benedict are made even more delicious with homemade English muffins

Happy Valley homesteader Wayne Jones looks through the telescope built by Rex Hanks, circa 1950. (Photo from “The Pioneers of Happy Valley, 1944-1964,” by Ella Mae McGann)
A Kind and Sensitive Man: The Rex Hanks Story — Part 4

Rex Hanks had a reputation as a forthright, hard-working, inventive and sensitive man

Will Morrow (courtesy)
It’s not always better to give

I was trying to come up with my own words of wisdom to share with my son

Trees burned in the 2019 Swan Lake Fire are pictured on the Sterling Highway, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. (Photo by Meredith Harber/courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Showing compassion beyond crisis mode

Crisis mode, while terrifying, brings out a collective care for one another that is beautiful to witness in the moment